Some reading material as you countdown until the weekend.
Coming off a 1-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday (highlights), the US U-20 team found out that it will be playing El Salvador on Saturday in the win-or-go-home playoff match to determine who will go to this summer’s U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. The game will be on Fox Sports 2 at 5:00 PM Eastern. The US will have a chance to get some revenge on El Salvador as they knocked out the 2012 U-23 team from qualifying for the 2012 Olympics. (UPDATE – Looks like the game is now on Fox Soccer Plus).
Speaking of the U-23 team, Ives Galarcep decided to guess at a possible Olympic qualifying team of MLS players since some of the European-based played might not get released for qualification.
Joe Corona returned from his broken foot to score in Tijuana’s Copa MX match on Wednesday (highlights). Jon Arnold (who has been everywhere this week) was at Estadio Caliente on Wednesday and got some post-game quotes from Corona. Tijuana’s website also got some words from Corona following the game.
For those of you with a Darlington Nagbe-to-USMNT countdown clock, you can probably move the time up a bit. Most people thought he would become a US citizen at the end of 2015 but it now looks like it could be September according to Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson.
The US U-20 team picked up a 2-0 win over Jamaica on Sunday (highlights). They just need a win or a tie on Wednesday against Trinidad & Tobago to advance to the playoff round. It was announced during the broadcast that Kellyn Acosta will miss the rest of the tournament due to a knee injury, while Junior Flores came off the bench and played after missing a game with an ankle injury.
Also over the weekend, Herculez Gomez scored his first goal for Puebla since returning to La Franja (highlights).
As MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke explained to the Toronto Sun on Friday, sacrifice for the crest is certainly one of those principles.
The club’s head honcho told me Bradley restructured part of his deal with the Reds to help bring Altidore back to MLS. The prospects of playing alongside Altidore brought back memories that made it an easy decision.
“I think about what it has been like to play on so many big days with Jozy,” Bradley said. “We’d be standing in the tunnel and you’ll look over at him and he’ll give you a little wink.
Now that numerous teams in MLS are interested in Sacha Kljestan, Anderlecht general manager Herman Van Holsbeeckwants Kljestan to stay for at least a couple months since Anderlecht has lost a couple players due to injury and the African Cup of Nations. Greg Seltzer is also hearing that some European teams are interested in him along with various MLS clubs.
We did have some other goals this past weekend that came in some friendlies. Fabian Johnson scored a goal in Borussia Mönchengladbach’s 1-0 win over Rot-Weiss Essen (photo). And Andrew Wooten scored a goal in Sandhausen’s 4-2 win over Jahn Regensburg.
New York appears to be the place to be at the moment.
A day after we had Mix Diskerud-to-NYCFC rumors, Taylor Twellman tells us that Jozy Altidore is talking to a few MLS teams, including New York Red Bulls. Less than an hour later, Ives Galarcep told the world that the Red Bulls are also closing in on Sacha Kljestan.
Those of you waiting to buy a DeAndre Yedlin/Tottenham jersey can now go ahead with that purchase as he is wearing #12. Here is also a quick video of him scoring in his first training with Spurs.
“I was all over CONCACAF looking for guys,’’ Karbassiyoon said Monday. “And every single trip I went on was a plane ride, and if it was a drive, it was several hours away in another market. But with Gedion, maybe two or three months after I originally met him, his dad had me over. I knew I was close but that area is confusing, and I’m navigationally challenged, so I looked up the house and it said estimated time three minutes. I said that really is close. It was pretty hilarious.”
A bunch of stuff from this week and other stuff from last week that I meant to post but didn’t, so let’s get after it.
Yesterday was a good day for Americans in Europe. John Brooks continued his recent strong play by scoring his first goal since THAT goal against Ghana (highlights from yesterday). Over in Belgium, Sacha Kljestan came off the bench and scored a goal in Anderlecht’s 3-0 win in the Belgian Cup (highlights). Also in the Belgian Cup, Kenny Saief scored for Gent in their 4-1 win (no highlights found yet). And back in Germany, Alfredo Morales was credited with an assist in Ingolstadt’s 2-1 win, but his teammate did most of the dirty work (highlights).
Howie posted some links about Brek Shea heading back to the US and Orlando City, but Greg Seltzer is hearing that some other Championship teams might be still interested in his services.
Herculez Gomez is headed back to Puebla. This will be his seventh different stint with a Liga MX team in the last five seasons, but he would be returning to his original stint/team where he won his scoring title in 2010.
Ventura Alvarado and Club America won the Apertura title this past fall so here are two interviews for you, one in English and one in Spanish.
Dom Dwyer signed a new contract with Sporting Kansas City which will keep him in the US for a while longer. Since he received his green card in 2012, he would be eligible to apply for citizenship in 2017.
I posted yesterday the news that Tesho Akindele turned down an invite with the Canadian national team to keep things open with the US. And now Ives Galarcep is hearing that Akindele will be called in by the USMNT next week.
Jozy Altidore’s agent, Lyle Yorks, is headed to Sunderland to talk to the club about his future. HITC’s Andrew Gibney takes a look at why a loan to France would be a good move for multiple parties. Jozy also turned 25 yesterday. According to the always good Paul Carr, his 24 international goals are the second most in USMNT history before turning 25. Some guy named Landon Donovan leads the way with 27.
Speaking of numbers, go check out where Rubio Rubin’s four assists rank in Europe among players 20 or younger.
Sacha Kljestan went the full 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Anderlecht’s 3-3 draw to Arsenal. Arsenal jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but Anderlecht scored three goals in the last 30 minutes to pull off the draw at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal became just the second team ever to fail to win a Champions League match at home after leading by 3+ goals.